A Grief Observed - One Minute for November

01.11.2018

C. S. Lewis was plunged into profound grief and bereavement when his beloved wife, Joy, died from cancer.  Her death forced Lewis to re-examine his beliefs about the nature of God and the mystery of death. Was God good or was God pernicious?  How could God give Lewis the gift of his wife only to have her taken from him after only three years of marriage.

   

In “A Grief Observed” C.S. Lewis struggles with the universal and existential questions raised by the death of a loved one.  He kept a journal following Joy’s death where he wrote about his deepest thoughts about the meaning of love and life and death, Later, friends urged Lewis to publish his journal in order to help others.

     

C. S. Lewis was a professor at Oxford and Cambridge Universities in England who converted from atheism to Christianity. His books like “Mere Christianity”, “The Chronicles of Narnia:”, and “The Screwtape Letters” became enormously popular across both sides of the Atlantic.

     

He was a brilliant intellectual and one of the most influential Christian writers of the 20th century.  He was a committed bachelor until late in life when he fell in love with a woman named Joy.  He married her while she was in the hospital facing terminal cancer.  She moved into remission and they had three years together until the cancer returned.

 

      

This book begins with Lewis’ experience of God as withdrawing His presence when it is needed the most. He uses the analogy of a man who approaches a house only to hear the sounds of locks being bolted against him.  Lewis writes about his pain. anguish and the emptiness.  Where is God?  What is He doing?  What is the meaning of the cross? What is the nature of reality?

      

If you, or anyone you know have gone through the dying and death of a beloved family member, this little book is an honest look at how it feels to go through this agony.  It also is an uplifting book as Lewis is lead to new insights into the true nature of God and how we can be assured of His love and presence. 

     

“Surprised by Joy” was the book Lewis wrote about his early life as he moved from atheism to theism and to Christianity.  Joy was what Lewis experienced throughout life as a sign post pointing to the reality of God and His love. When he met Joy, his wife, he found the great love of his life and by observing her death, Lewis was led again to joy and the reassuring love of Christ.

 

(One Minute, from Rev. Ron Rehrer, Counselor for Church Workers,

ph: 949.433.5182; email: ron@ronrehrer.com)

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